So I had forgiven Z, the father of my son. It was time to move things forward so he could become a real father. As he lives in Barcelona with his new partner I couldn’t feasibly allow my son to go there without meeting his new girlfriend first. I was still dubious about Z’s ability to wake up at 6:30 am (the preferred waking time for our son) and his squeamishness with nappies bordered on ridiculous. If he didn’t get over it, I would have to pack our son’s overnight bag with a full biohazard suit.
I was well aware of the younger than me, blonder than me Russian girl who was now with Z. He had described her as “chill”, which I am decidedly not. I knew they spent their free time at the local skate park in Barcelona. I had an image in my head of a tall, willowy blonde with a sexy Russian accent and her own skateboard. She was starting to flip trick all over my cerebral cortex.
Although things were amicable between Z and I , and I knew he had a long way to go in terms of self-growth, I still hadn’t let go of the childish desire to win. That’s just my nature, I wanted to swoop in there as the glamorous mother of his child.
He had once disclosed that she “shaves the side of her head” so at least I had something to work with. I started conjuring up images of a punk wannabe waitress, who lies on the beach smoking weed and talking shit. What would she know about life? She clearly only knows how to shake up a mojito and the wrong uses for an electric razor….
I switched between feeling mean and feeling compassionate. I lost all sisterly feelings when I remembered her age. I even slightly regressed on my forgiveness of Z, thinking he had finally found a compliant little girl to suck his dick and cook him dinner at the same time.
He had been with her for a year, so no doubt she had heard all about me. The devil woman who snatched Z’s son and kept him for herself. I know full well what Z would have said. I recalled a few pompous, vitriolic emails he had sent when he had first got together with her. She would have kissed his wounds and agreed how “awful” I was.
I imagined them having the time of their lives in Barcelona, drinking rum and Coke on the promenade late into the night, lying in the sunshine. When I , the parent, was the one with all the responsibility.
(Side note: what does one even wear to such occasions? I mean you don’t want to dress up too much, she might think you still love him or some shit. You also don’t want to look like a train wreck, well because … she might be Barcelona’s answer to Giselle)
Then I remembered this was about our son, and seeing if she got on well with him. It wasn’t about my petty feelings. As I had done before, I had to get on with it- with no partner to back me up. At least I had my parents.
As we entered into the restaurant in Toulouse, France my stomach was churning. Would she hate my son?
Then I saw her. She wasn’t the concocted Russian Ruby Rose of my imagination. She was wearing vans and a plain grey shirt dress. She was about my height, with had a Harry Potter rucksack and oversized glasses. I immediately liked her. In fact she reminded me very much of one of my old flat mates, who I got on well with.
We all sat down for lunch. Z, the kids, my parents and Z’s girlfriend who I will call A.
A was all over the kids and they took to her too. I breathed a sigh of relief.
There would be no problem with this woman and my son.
We talked over lunch and further over coffee. We agreed on subjects and I found her to be an interesting, intelligent person. In fact I would go so far as to say I could be friends with A, if circumstances were different. Z seemed to be respectful of her. Although I can’t say what goes on behind closed doors they appeared to work as a couple. He certainly wasn’t the overbearing dickhead he was when he was with me so that was positive at least.
I could happily allow my son to go to Barcelona when he’s older, not overnight straight away but it will happen. A isn’t the shaven headed, crop top wearing idiot I thought she was. In fact she’s a sweet girl who knew a lot about the economy and politics. I’m sure she had ideas about me too. She probably thought I would curse her with the ten plagues of Egypt across the garlic bread and lattes.
I mean, aside from throwing her down the steps at the Basilica of Saint Sernin and making it look like an accident, I would say the meeting went pretty well.